The Science of Reading is for everyone, and it is particularly important to support students with Dyslexia and students who struggle to read. The science of reading is the result of 50 years of studies and data from many different disciplines, such as Cognitive Psychology, Communication Sciences, Developmental Psychology, Education, Special Education, Implementation Science, Linguistics, and Neuroscience. (The Reading League, 2022)
All the information from the studies over the last 5 decades was combined to become the “Science of Reading.” It is the result of compiling and analyzing a large quantity of evidence regarding what goes into the process of becoming proficient readers and writers. The data also includes why some children struggle, and how the use of structured literacy programs by teachers can effectively assess skills, prevent lags, and improve outcomes linked to the reading process. (Paraphrase of The Reading League 2022)
The Definition of the Science of Reading
“A vast, interdisciplinary body of scientifically-based research about reading and issues related to reading and writing. Over the last five decades researchers from all over the world conducted thousands of studies in multiple languages. The science of reading has culminated in a preponderance of evidence to inform how proficient reading and writing develop; why some have difficulty; and how we can most effectively assess and teach and, therefore, improve student outcomes through prevention of and intervention for reading difficulties.” (The Reading League, 2022)
Structured Literacy Programs Based on the Science of Reading
Many high-quality literacy programs have been developed using the Science of Reading data. These programs emulate one of the first structured literacy programs, Orton-Gillingham, which was developed in the 1930s by Dr. Samuel Orton and Anna Gillingham. Structured literacy programs are explicit and systematic, emphasizing building foundational skills, background knowledge, and vocabulary. These programs provide guidance for supporting all types of learners, including those with unique learning needs.
The Most Fundamental Responsibility of Schools is Teaching Students to Read
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) consistently finds that 35% of US 4th graders read below grade level. In an average class of twenty-four 4th graders, that means 8 to 9 students in each class cannot read at a basic level (International Dyslexia Association 2016).
Literacy is the gateway for access to the world around us. If one is able to read, all other types of learning open up. Literacy is what allows us the ability to participate in society. Being literate allows one to obtain a driver’s license, fill out a job application, vote knowledgeably, and much more. Thus, literacy is more than being able to read and write. In today’s information age, people need to be able to access information. (Burgess, Kristine Landmark School Outreach 2022, “Building Equity in Literacy”). Although reading is a crucial part of navigating the modern world, it is important to understand that the ability to read is a recent human invention and is not an inherent genetic trait that all people possess.
5 Critical Components of a Structured Literacy Program
An effective literacy program is created through the strong and reliable data from the Science of Reading and brings the skill of reading to life.
- Core instruction
- Personalized learning
- Professional development
Structured Literacy Resources
In addition to providing structured literacy instruction through our one-to-one tutoring and small-group summer programs, RITES is now pleased to announce a new partnership for teacher training. Root Literacy Design offers professional development for educators in structured literacy, based on the Science of Reading. This course is a Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) proficiency provider for the Right to Read Act.
For educators, find out more about this training here.
For parents, find out more about easy-to-use resources to support structured literacy with your children at home here.